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Walmart ahead of Amazon in ‘virtual reality shopping’

walmart vr shopping patents

The world’s biggest retailer, Walmart, files patent for a “virtual showroom” that will enable customers to wander the aisles of a digital store. The fully automated distribution center of Walmart picks up and ships those items shopped by consumers using VR headsets and sensor-packed gloves.

The Store No. 8 of Walmart, a team dedicated to developing company’s VR tools, houses Spatialand. Spatialand is a virtual reality startup that was acquired by Walmart, in February, this year.

The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba debuted VR shopping with its Buy+ in 2016. And since then, Amazon is also said to be working on a similar functionality letting its shoppers see or experience products in VR before they click “Buy”.

While Walmart too is all set to explore the concept, this VR retail strategy is complicated than it seems. Because this would need a wider adoption of headsets and a feasible home technology. However, Walmart has already invaded the virtual reality world. It uses a VR set to help prepare its employees for Black Friday sales, and in June, it launched a ‘virtual shopping tour’ that let users visit a virtual apartment in VR.

Walmart has also begun implementing various other services and technologies, all aimed at giving the retailer a leg up against its biggest rival Amazon. The efforts include Pickup Towers, automated kiosks, text-based shopping, grocery delivery, and others, making the Walmart shopping experience more beneficial and convenient for consumers.

 

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